All this month, we are spotlighting Bomb Designers you should know, whose pieces you can shop at FashionBombDailyShop.com! Today’s profile goes to Samantha Smikle, the designer of Nroda Bejeweled eyewear:
A native of Bronx, New York, Samantha was born to Jamaican parents, and a mother who is half Cuban. Smikle says, “ I’ve traveled to both countries and am very much influenced by both cultures. I studied magazine journalism and African American studies at Boston University (class of 2007).”
She continues, “I definitely always knew that I loved fashion. I didn’t believe it could be a career until I decided to major in magazine journalism at the end of my sophomore year. But as a kid, I was drawing outfits for my dolls–full collections, iterations of looks and all. “
“…After my first magazine internship at Vibe Vixen, I knew for sure that I was in the right place. School felt like a technicality at that point. I wanted to get it over with and get back into the office! But right out of school, I actually interned at a clothing company, Elise Overland. There, I discovered my passion for design, of jewelry particularly. “
Samantha’s idea to adorn sunglasses was born out of a love of jewelry design. She says, “I pursued jewelry design as a hobby, though I made it official with a website and everything. But while I [at my first magazine job] at Fader Magazine where I interned and later wrote and covered shows for the Fashion department, I was actually featured for my jewelry line and a piece was used in a photoshoot I assisted on! At the end of my year and a half there, I realized that I was becoming more passionate about designing and sought out a career in the corporate jewelry industry as well as a certification in CAD design for jewelry from GIA. The jewelry design evolved into Nroda Eyewear where I adorned sunglasses with my jewelry components–inspiration for which I always chalk up to “God’s inspiration” because I have no idea what else made me put brass filigree pieces and cross right on top of the lens. “
When describing her brand, Samantha says, “Nroda is luxe and innovative hand designed eyewear featuring 24k gold plated elements and crystals for the unapologetically confident and stylish. Nroda eyewear is for the people by the people. I aim to serve my multicultural brothers and sisters. I look to what we have worn (Aaliyah, Lil Kim, Tupac and Lisa Bonet are some of my constant inspirations), what we are wearing now and where I envision the trends will be tomorrow in order to conceptualize what I design today. “
She continues, “Notable highlights for the brand include securing Rick Ross and Snoop Dogg as customers of the Nroda “I’ll Be Rich Forever” Sunglasses inspired by Rick Ross, our pop up at Essence Fest 2018 also stands out, as does going full time in Nroda in September 2017. “
As for future plans for the brand, Samantha says, “I plan to take over the eyewear industry with Nroda. It’s a huge feat as the heavy hitters are pretty omnipresent in eyewear but I know that as long as I can expose Nroda Eyewear to the world, the world will love it!”
She says, “I would love to see Rihanna, Lizzo, H.E.R. Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez and Diddy in Nroda Eyewear. All artists who I’m just so obsessed with in some combination of a musical, style or inspirational level.”
In closing, she says, “For anyone reading this who is hesitating to start anything new or different–know that that desire was placed in your heart for a reason. Don’t take for granted how easy it is for you or write it off as frivolous or ridiculous for any reason. I promise that it is for you to fulfill even just for the impact that you will have on one person. That is more than enough reason to make it a dream fulfilled not deferred or ignored. Thank you Claire and the Fashion Bomb Team for this platform to share my story–so honored! Peace! “
I love that. Shop a selection of Samantha’s designs at FashionBombDailyShop.com.
Stay tuned for even more profiles of our Bomb Designers!